Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Moving Again

I'm doing it again. I tried to make it work on Blogger, but I'm going back to Wordpress. Hoping you'll follow along. Here is the new address.

See you there!

The Monkey Belly

Yesterday we went in for Monkey's 2nd well baby visit. Here are the numbers:

Height: 22.5" (85%)
Weight: 10lbs, 12ozs (75%)
Head Circumference: 15" (75%)

It looks like Yogi's got a big, little brother. ;)

At a month old the little dude is clearly rocking and rolling. Although he's a champion breastfeeder and he and my wife have had none of the latch trouble that she and Yogi did, his belly gives him some trouble. He's fairly miserable (crying, fussing, back arching, spitting up) for about an hour after each feeding. My wife has cut out dairy and caffeine and we're keeping him upright for 30 minutes after each meal and that is helping a bit.

We have good days and bad days. I have no idea how I'm going to manage his needs with Yogi's when my wife goes back to work, but for now I'm taking it one day at a time. He will be older then, right? So far I've only had a few hour stretches with both boys by myself.

For now I just keep reminding myself that lots of people have two kids (and many people have twins - bless your patient souls) and that most of those kids turn out ok and very few of those parents are admitted to mental hospitals.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Day to You!

It's Mama's Day at my house and I couldn't be happier. Although Yogi was here for Father's Day last year, our second parent adoption had not been finalized and I was not yet (in the eyes of the government) his Father. This year I am and I'm claiming the day with gusto.

It's a bit of a challenge to have much of a pampering kind of holiday when you have a not-quite-two year old and a one month old (Happy Month yesterday Monkey!), but it's been fun nonetheless. Yogi offered my first gift this morning by trumpeting "Mama!!!!" from his crib at 5:30. There was no talking him into additional sleep and the morning was a flurry of block stacking, Easter egg hunting (yes, he is STILL trolling the house with a basket filled with plastic eggs), coloring on the porch, and car racing. There will be breakfast in bed one day, right?

We somehow managed to get ourselves dressed and fed in time for a very special church service this morning. A few times each year our church does Child Dedications in which little people are welcomed into the community. The minister says a few words about the family and the congregation pledges their commitment to nurture the spiritual life of the child. This morning was Monkey's morning and he donned a handsome pair of overalls for the occasion. Big brother Yogi was a part of the ceremony and when it was time for the four of us to walk down to the front of the church, he seemed downright proud of his role. He held Monkey's rose while the minister spoke and I was wowed by how confident he was. I think of him as being a bit reserved and even somewhat shy, but there was none of that this morning.

Everyone was eager to meet the baby and after all my crowing about Mama's Day, I got more than a handful of well wishes on my special day. We haven't made it to church since Monkey's arrival and so being there this morning felt even better than it usually does. I really do love that place.

After church we planned to go for brunch at a neighborhood restaurant before nap, but.... when we got there they weren't even open!! Man did that make me feel old. I guess that place is more of a post-hangover kind of brunch. Happily, there is always the bagel shop so we didn't go hungry or have to cook for ourselves.

As I write, both boys are napping. When they wake we'll be headed down to the park for some folk music and food trucks. Mommy and Yogi on the bike and Mama and Monkey in the car - unfortunately it's too far (and hot) for a stroll. We're planning a picnic dinner for Yogi and post-bedtime sushi takeout for ourselves.

There have been very few moments of quiet or solitude today, but I wouldn't want it any other way. My life is louder and more chaotic than I ever imagined it could be, but it's deeply, deeply mine and for that I am grateful.

How does your family approach these gendered parenting holidays? I'd love to know if you've got time to comment. Whatever the answer, I hope you're enjoying this beautiful day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I am still alive and (mostly) well. Life is good. Monkey is growing and Yogi is fabulous. My wife is sleep-deprived, but as amazing as always. Everyone is eating regular meals and the house has yet to spiral into complete chaos. These are facts that are hard won everyday. This two kid gig is no joke.

And then, of course, there's me.

I am a caretaker, a helper, an advocate for everybody else. These are quite lovely qualities when my life is in balance and I am well. When the world feels topsy-turvy and I can't get a handle on much of anything, all of that loveliness turns ugly. I'm doing everything I can think of to ensure that my people are cared for and happy and when there's extra time, I do things like shower and brush my teeth. I make no time for any kind of self-care (exercising, writing, reading, meditating). After a few weeks of completely ignoring my own self, something very predictable happens. I get pissed.

Nobody likes a martyr.

I'm impossibly tired of this old story. I know I do it, I know it doesn't work and yet if my behavior is any indication (and it always is) I just can't help myself. Feeling sick of your own self is such a dispiriting feeling.

So, I guess this is "hello again". It's been too long. I miss this place. I miss me. Writing gives me the space to think, to slow down, to give all of the good things in my life a moment to dig their roots into my heart. I need this and it's perfectly ok for me to get what I need. It's time to craft a new story for myself. Past time.

So here's to taking care of your own self. One day at a time, right?

After making it through this navel-gazing post, you've earned some cuteness. Here is the little dude gearing up for a bike ride with Mommy. He LOVES the bike trailer and I can't get enough of him in his tiny helmet.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sleep and Milk

Two children under two means lots of diapers, lots of breastfeeding and not a lot of sleep. I should hardly be surprised. In spite of that, I've got questions and I'm hoping that you guys have thoughts. 

First, the sleeping.

Monkey sleeps like a champ, but he eats almost every two hours and the process of feeding him from start to finish (with diaper change) lasts about an hour. This makes the nights at our house something short of restful. 

The factor that pushes all of it over the edge is Yogi’s recent shift from a 6:30-7 wake up to a 5am start time. 5AM??!!! The boy is an early riser and I have made peace with that, but 5 o’clock is a little hard to accept. More than a little really. So I’m thinking some kind of gentle scheduling shift is in order. Here’s how Yogi sleep has been looking for the last quite some time (since about the time he turned a year):

6:30ish Wake-up
12-2 Nap (This ranges btw 1.5 and 2 hrs)
7ish Bedtime

This means that at 21 months, Yogi has been sleeping about 13 hours a day. Now it’s more like 11 hours.

There are a few things that make this complicated. The first is that almost every night Yogi is skidding into bedtime on fumes. The little dude is d.o.n.e. by 7pm and I don’t know how we could keep him up any later. It’s also the case that if we do something in the morning that involves either the car or the stroller he almost always falls asleep, which makes me feel like pushing the nap back isn’t the best idea either. But what to do? There has to be something, right? If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Next, the breastfeeding.

Monkey is doing well and aside from the fact that he wants to eat all.the.time we are having no trouble with him in the milk department. And then there’s Yogi. 

Yogi was exclusively breastfed through his first birthday. Around that time, we introduced whole milk and he began nursing only at night before bedtime. As he got older, these sessions became increasingly brief and my wife never knew how much milk he was actually getting. We both assumed that he continued on with it for comfort reasons and because it was part of their bedtime routine. On the rare evening when I did bedtime, he never complained about the lack of milk or asked any questions about it at all.

Since the arrival of Monkey, Yogi wants to nurse both more frequently (he asks for Mommy Milk at nap AND bedtime and he has asked a handful of times when he sees Monkey nursing - my wife has agreed to nurse at nap and is continuing with bedtime, but has gently refused the other requests and he hasn’t protested) and for longer duration (which I imagine is a function of that fact that her supply is much greater).

I’m not officially worried about this, but I’m wondering if his response is a typical one. Anyone have any experience here? I’m thinking that the novelty of this will wear off, but maybe not? 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Glimpses of the First Week

Yogi reaching for the bucket when my wife walked in from the hospital with Monkey.

Kissing Monkey's baby cheeks while he snoozes.

Yogi's sidekick lovey almost never leaving his side. Paci too. These guys have never been outside the crib for any length of time and never out of the house so it's a whole new wide world for Yogi's buddies. One that I hope to be narrowing soon.

Yogi's renewed interest in the Ergo, or as he calls it "backpack".

Early morning walks on the greenway and breakfast at the neighborhood bagel joint. Milk for Monkey and Blueberry bagel with a side of peanut butter for Yogi. Yum!

Enjoying snuggly Monkey time while Yogi naps.

Waking up in the night with a "Mama, Mama!" Yogi. We had this problem licked, but since the arrival of Monkey I can't bear to think that he feels abandoned with all of us in the other room. This ends tonight. Pray for me....

Wondering what we ever did with all that time we had when Yogi was an infant. Babies really do sleep all.the.time. How could we have thought we were tired?

Trying to pick my battles with a veggie burger throwing, kiddie hammer banging, standing up in his chair and laughing hysterically toddler. I love this boy, but sometimes he drives me crazy. But, maybe that's the sleep deprivation talking.

Yogi's excitement about Muzzie, Grandpa, Nana, Pops AND Moka (the dog) all being in town at once.  He really got into hugging everyone good night before bed. So cute.

Hearing Yogi say his brother's name. Nothing better.

Remembering too late that you should never leave the house with an infant without a burp cloth and a change of clothes. How quickly you forget.

Yogi going (too exuberantly?) for a big bite of ice cream and accidentally sending ice cream flying into his brother's face. Oh the poor, poor second child.

The anatomy lesson that breaks out each time Monkey sits in his bouncy seat. Yogi marches over and begins "Ears, Eyes (this one is a bit scary, but so far so good), Nose, Mouth, Hair, Hands, Feet, Knees". Never gets old.

Feeling relatively certain that my house will never be clean again.

Yogi, Monkey and my wife on the afternoon before labor began.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The View from Here

Enjoying my daily Monkey snuggles while Yogi naps.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yogi the Big Brother

My parents took this picture on his last day of school, which also happened to be the day after he met his little brother.

This guy has been on quite a wild ride this week and I couldn't be prouder of how he's rolling with all of the changes. On Wednesday morning he woke up to find Muzzie and Grandpa had come during the night. Later that afternoon Nana and Pops arrived and soon after Mama came home and everyone loaded up to head to the hospital to see Mommy and meet Monkey.

Muzzie helped him pick some flowers and when he walked into Mommy's room he delivered them proudly. He got to meet Monkey before anyone else did and he ran around the room eating Goldfish (thanks Nana!) and stopping occasionally to rub Monkey's head and say his name over and over. Then we walked out into the waiting room to gather the grandparents and Yogi led everyone back to meet his little brother.

After spending the morning at the library with Nana and Pops, he was enthusiastic about greeting the three of us when we all came home from the hospital. He greeted us with big hugs and immediately grabbed the handle of the baby bucket (chanting "hebe" - translation: heavy) to help walk his brother into the house. When he got inside he started chanting Monkey's name.

I don't have a younger sibling and know nothing of what Yogi is feeling right now. Since getting home yesterday he's had some fussy moments and maybe he's a touch clingier than usual, but I think he's handling it pretty well. We are of course only a few days in. I guess what I'm saying is that I love this guy like C.R.A.Z.Y. and I hope he knows how much his Mommies love him in spite of how so much is changing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Introducing Monkey

Here is the newest member of the family. A yawning Monkey on his second day in the world.

Mama and Monkey stealing a snooze.

We got home with the boys this morning and are beginning the process of settling in. So far I'm finding the phrase, "the boys" to have a nice ring to it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Yogi's Little Brother is Here!!!!

Monkey  is here! He arrived yesterday afternoon and we were thrilled to finally meet him. My wife was able to get him here after pushing for a little more than three (impressive) hours. Pictures soon. For now the details :


7lbs 13oz

21.5" from toe to tip of cone

Love, Love, Love

Yogi met him shortly afterward and has been chanting his name ever since.

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.4

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